Evanston Public Library Competition

Sited at the end of the block and serviced by an alley at the back, the proposed new Library is entered by the staff on the south and by the public on the west. While the ground floor entry hall gives direct access to the auditorium and the staff is housed a the back, all other public library activities are on the upper floors. Once inside the control point access to all library floors can be had via the ramp as well as stairs and elevator. All reading rooms are biased toward the perimeter to get natural light or are top lit by higher roofed two story rooms with clerestories on the upper two floors. The ramp is similarly lit from above.

The concrete frame is clad on the outside with buff limestone and infilled with black finished aluminum window frames of various sizes. The entry facade on the west is signaled as public by a generous porch along the front. The implied two story order of columns renders the base at the generous scale of the city and its streets. The upper floors are express the more intimate scale of individual reading activities. Interuptions on the regular order of the upper floors expose the complex array of spaces housed within. The big scale and figure of the building is in response to both the public purpose of the library as well as to the order of surrounding buildings.

Location: Evanston, Illinois

Program: Public Library

Size: 11,465sf Building

32,800sf Parking


$22-26 million



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